ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court Islamabad on Wednesday granted the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) six-day physical remand of former Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman Farkand Iqbal in Park Lane case against former president Asif Ali Zardari and others.
The Accountability Court-I Judge, Muhammad Bashir, announced the decision and ordered the accused Iqbal be present before the court again on August 3. Earlier, the suspect was brought to the court by the anti-graft body team. The NAB arrested former CDA chairman on July 27 from Rawalpindi over the accusation of awarding 118 kanals of government land to Park Lane company.
During the court proceedings, the NAB requested 14-day physical remand of the former CDA chairman, to conduct investigation from him, which was opposed by the defense counsel. The NAB prosecutor told the court that Iqbal by neglecting the Environmental Wing's report, gave away the land to Park Lane.
The accused told the court that as chairman CDA he did not commit any illegal work and the then Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad had given the approval of awarding of the said land.
We had moved to court against awarding of the said land, he further said, adding the CDA could have only gone to court against the decision of awarding of land, and it could not have shot the DC. He said that he is innocent and the NAB arrested him without any reason.
However, the court granted the NAB six-day physical remand of the accused and ordered the bureau to complete investigation from the accused till the next hearing and file a report before it. The anti-graft body had already arrested former Environment CDA member Mian Waheed uddin and former Deputy Tehsildar Muhammad Iqbal in the same case.
Last year, the accountability court indicted former president and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Zardari and others in a case involving allegations of money laundering and misuse of authority in Park Lane reference. According to the charges levelled against Zardari, he influenced the relevant authorities during his tenure as president to release loans to front companies.
He was accused of being a director of the Park Lane Company, and planning to commit fraud. The former president allegedly got his front company, Parthenon Private Limited, a loan of Rs 1.5 billion with ill intention, and the money was then transferred for his personal use through fake accounts.
The Park Lane case is being investigated under different sections of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999, and the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010, over Zardari's alleged involvement in extending loan and its misappropriation by Parthenon Private Limited.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021